Mt. Vernon Register-News

July 8, 2013

Children's grief camp held


CNHI

MT. VERNON — —

A magic show and butterfly release were a few of the special activities held at SSM Hospice of the Good Samaritan first children's bereavement camp. Camp MAGIC, standing for mending a heart, grief in children, was designed to provide support to children ages 5 through 12 who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The free, one-day grief retreat was held in Mt. Vernon and open to all children of Southern Illinois.

Camp MAGIC provided a safe environment for children to openly express their feelings regarding the loss of a loved one, while having their fears and concerns addressed. Throughout the day, the children took part in special activities designed to facilitate positive coping techniques. Each child was paired with a trained volunteer to provide companionship, support and supervision throughout the day. Activities included craft projects, games, tours of an ambulance and fire truck, interaction with pet therapy dogs, face painting, a clown, a magic show and a butterfly release ceremony.

"Children are often the forgotten mourners during a time of loss and need the help of adults to guide them in the grief process," said Lori Reynolds, SSM Hospice bereavement coordinator. "We would like to thank the numerous staff members who donated their time to benefit the well being, health, safety and enjoyment of our campers. We could not have provided this service without your help."

SSM Hospice of the Good Samaritan Camp MAGIC was made possible by the SSM Hospice and Home Care Foundation. SSM Hospice of the Good Samaritan is located in Mt. Vernon and provides hospice services to Jefferson, Clinton, Marion, Washington, Wayne, Edwards, Perry, Franklin and Hamilton counties. For more information, please call SSM Hospice at 899-1621.